Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!!!! Week 17-Few days shy of 6 months!!!

What’s goooddddd in the hooodddd my people? How ya’ll doin!!
I’m doing just fine in the mighty fine land of Hashimoto, Japan. This area is THE BEST, the members are great, the foods great, the area is beautiful, the foods great, the moon is pretty, and the food is still great. Always!! Next week is transfers! I don’t find out till next Monday where I’m going if i DO transfer (Hopefully I don’t). If it just so happens that I DO, haha my birthday present will be a brand new companion considering I will turn 19 next Friday! J
Week was pretty good! haha Because of New Years we weren’t aloud to go out and proselyte. Not because of safety issues but because Japanese people will flip on us! New Years in Japan is like the Christmas in America, EVERYTHING SHUTS DOWN. It’s a time for families to be together and to enjoy each other’s company. Therefore we were asked specifically not to interrupt that so it wouldn’t put a bad image on us as missionaries. 
So instead, our Branch Mission Leader arranged for us through all the members to be fed ALL WEEK by them. Lunch, and Dinner specifically, but basically get fed some bomb food, and then share a spiritual message. It was great! I had the opportunity to try special traditional New Year’s Japanese food. (I apologize I have no Pictures of any of it) but it was Mighty fine! Remember the Mochi I talked about? Lots of Mochi on New Years.! Pretty freakin great lemme tell ya. 

I’m super grateful for that opportunity we had to meet with all the members. All of them are becoming best friends of mine. Now that I can actually speak  to me Japanese, we can talk and communicate and laugh and tell jokes and stuff! These people are the greatest! AND they are some of the strongest members I’ve ever met. I don’t want to leave Hashimoto!!!!!!!!!!! 
Last week I was able to pick myself up a sweet little weight set but with our schedule and everything going on and what not, I couldn’t use them right away, I had to wait till this last Monday! (I was dying and crying inside) I exercised soooo hard that day and basically KILLED myself! I was hurting ALL week because of how sore i was, but man :) Oh how I’ve been longing for that feeling for these past 6 months :) It brought back so many memories of those hot summer days grinding in the gym and at football practice, some of the days I’ll never forget from my high school experience. But THESE days now are ones I’ll remember for eternity. A mission is so extremely short but is  so eternally important!
All in all this week was a great one despite the fact we couldn’t do exactly what we normally do, or what we WANTED to do for that matter. It was good :)

My companion and I were able to share a lot of cool lessons this week of which I’d like to talk a little bit about! 

This morning I was studying in the Book of Jacob in chapter 5 of the Book of Mormon. You know, about the parable of the Vineyard that the prophet Zenos spoke! It’s probably the millionth time I’ve studied this chapter but man today was a solid day of studying. I read a simple, yet very powerful scripture. The Lord of the Vineyard and his Servant at this time have been laboring amongst their vineyard for a while now, and at this point of the Chapter they are behelding all their trees for the second time and seeing that all their  trees are becoming corrupt and dying. 
And  Jacob 5:41 says, And it came to pass that the Lord of the vineyard wept, and said unto the servant: What could I have done more for my vineyard?
That nailed my soul in the very center today! The Lord of the Vineyard represents our Father in Heaven. He loves us all SO VERY MUCH. Heavenly Father delights in righteousness, and is very happy when we do what’s right. He has given us everything we need to be happy and successful in this life. He gave is his son on behalf of the world so that we can have the chance to return to him again. He has given us this wonderful Plan of Salvation for OUR benefit! God has literally laid it all out for us. All we need to do is follow it, do what’s right and we will be able to receive eternal life and exaltation. Despite all of it, we still have the gift of agency to decide whether to follow it or not. When we do what’s right, he is happy, he gives us blessings, he helps us always and we have his spirit with us. When we don’t follow, when we don’t do what’s right, when we follow and glory in the things of the world, he is grieved, he is sad, he wishes we would be better!
My companion and I gave a lesson to a few members about the Book of Mormon and the power it has. This book was written for THIS generation. It was translated and restored through Joseph Smith so that we could have the guidance, the help, and the direction needed in order to make it through this life. The book is filled with the lord’s commandments and teachings that are geared to help us live happier lives. When we do these things, when we follow Our Savior, Jesus Christ, and his example, we are promised blessings beyond measure, one of them being able to receive exaltation. 
Just like the scripture says,” What more could I have done for my Vineyard?” What more can God do for us? All there is that there is left to do is our part. To follow his teachings, his Son, AND do what is right. I challenge and advise you to make this mindset a priority in your lives and to follow the savior and the Lords teachings. When we were all young and we did something silly, and our parents, specifically our Fathers got mad at us, was that fun!? NO!!! No one I’m sure ever liked it when thier father was mad or sad at them. So why do it to our Eternal Father? Read the Book of Mormon, follow the counsels of the Prophets and our beloved Prophet, Thomas S. Monson. Follow the example of the Savior. I add my testimony to that of the prophets now, and prophets of old. When we do, I promise we will find more joy, happiness, peace, and be able to feel the love of our Father in Heaven always. The more I seek to do these things in my own life, and help others do the same as a missionary; I’ve seen the blessings that come from above. 
I love you all very much. I know I say this every week, but it’s true, I love you all very much even if I don’t know you all that well or have spoken to you. I also know that Our Father in Heaven loves you all very much. I hope you all have a great week! And may you all seek to do what is right! 
For this week’s scripture(s) I would love for you to read Jacob Ch.5 of the Book of Mormon. It’s a good one!

Till next week :) Much Love!

Elder Preciado

I have added a few more pics, oh and I needed to get to another suit! Don’t worry, it was only $50! (normally over $200!) J

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